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Armenia: Parliamentary poll heralds new era

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By Euronews
Armenia: Parliamentary poll heralds new era

<p>It is all change in Armenia, voting for the first time on Sunday in elections to usher in a new parliamentary system of government.</p> <p>President Serzh Sarksyan’s role will become largely ceremonial, with the prime minister getting greater powers.</p> <p>Yet critics see the change as an effort to prolong Sarksyan’s political life. With time almost up on his presidential term limit, they say his plan is to swap roles.</p> <p>Neck and neck with Sarksyan’s ruling party in Sunday’s vote for a new parliament is an opposition alliance led by Gagik Tsarukyan, one of Armenia’s richest men.</p> <p>He has pledged to cut gas and electricity prices and help civil servants and pensioners.</p> <p>Many Armenians accuse the government of corruption and of mishandling the troubled economy. </p> <p>And with claims of voting fraud already emerging, as they did in the 2015 referendum that approved the country’s constitutional reform, the fear is that unrest could erupt.</p>